When it comes to health trends, I'll give most anything a try. Green smoothies, kombucha, or kale quinoa bowls? Throw it at me. But don't ask me to give up coffee. For what it's worth, though, the unusual mental and physical benefits of cutting back to just one cup of coffee a day are pretty impressive. Even for a diehard coffee fiend like me, moderating coffee intake may be worthwhile, at least some of the time.
For many people, cutting out coffee altogether is not an appetizing option. The promise of a warm mug of coffee makes the prospect of getting up in the morning less tedious. And what can enliven a lousy afternoon slump better than some frothy concoction from your favorite coffee shop?
That being said, this beloved brew comes with a dark side. Although the exact amount of coffee you can safely consume will vary from person to person, drinking four or more cups of coffee a day is probably overdoing it, according to the Mayo Clinic. The many health benefits that result from scaling back your caffeine consumption may convince you to step away from the French press a little earlier in the day, or altogether. (Oh who am I kidding. That will never happen.)
1. You're Less Irritable
Do you feel on edge after downing that extra coffee? It's not uncommon. According to Medical Daily, caffeine consumption can cause irritability and agitation in many people. The less you drink, the less likely you are to experience these nerve-wracking effects.
2. Your Stomach Isn't As Upset
Overdoing the java can exacerbate stomach troubles. As explained by WebMD, many compounds in coffee, not just the caffeine, can irritate the stomach. Less coffee could mean fewer tummy problems.
3. You Sleep Better
Have you traded hours of sleep for the momentary joy of an afternoon coffee break? I have. But as noted on the website for Psychology Today, even caffeine consumed six hours before you go to bed can disrupt your sleep. Sticking to one cup of coffee in the morning may help you rest easy.
4. You Have A Lower Caffeine Tolerance
Does your cup of coffee no longer pack a punch, energy-wise? According to Lifehacker, you can lower your coffee intake to reduce your caffeine tolerance. When you go back on the stuff, one cup of coffee will give you an energy boost again.
5. You Better Understand Hunger Cues
Pounding coffee all day can make you forget to eat. According the the Mayo Clinic, caffeine may act as a temporary appetite suppressant. In general, though, getting in touch with your body's actual signals, and eating real food when you feel hungry, is kinder to your body.
6. You're Less Anxious
If you have anxiety, it's tempting to use coffee as a way to help you brave the day. But according to WebMD, caffeine may worsen anxiety symptoms. Cutting back may help you manage your anxiety a little easier.
7. You Save Money
Hey, any time I find a way to save money, it's a tremendous mental benefit. Of course cutting back on coffee shop trips will save you some cash, but even the home brew stuff can add up in a hurry. You can use the extra money for some other habit.
8. You Take Fewer Bathroom Trips
Few situations are as panic-inducing as going without a bathroom when you're full of coffee. According to Young Women's Health, caffeine is a diuretic, which is why you feel like you have to pee all the time after a coffee binge. Scaling back your consumption can make for a happier bladder.
9. You're Less Restless
Sure, coffee provides energy. But for many people, too much coffee produces a nervous, jittery form of energy that's pretty unpleasant. Cutting back can help you maintain your chill.